Compared to what I am used to, the layout of graveyards here- not unlike Turkish summer homes- seems rather disorganized and crowded, the plots too close together. There is very little in the way of landscaping and Nature is generally left to overtake everything and this, I suppose, is fitting.
It was, however, a gentle quiet moment, wandering down the wide lanes, the cypress and pine trees towering above and beyond them, the slopes of the legendary Mount Sipylus.
I have always enjoyed cemeteries and the contemplation they naturally produce. All the people that have lived before me, people I had never a chance to meet. Most were doubtless kind and simple people, a few probably were not so pleasant, perhaps. My mind then turned to all the people that will come after me, people again I will have no opportunity to meet.
Our time here is so short. I suppose, of course, we must feel lucky to have been given any time at all. And if the dead could speak, I am certain they would say,
"Don't waste a second. Live your life well. It will be gone before you know it."
The Turks, unlike the Victorians do not go in much for grandiose inscriptions on the headstones I noticed. No desperate, grasping individuality amongst the gravestones, no pathetic statues of weeping angels or ornately carved granite mausoleums. For the Turks, only the names and dates of birth and a hyphen to signify an entire lost life. The rest is left to the memories of the relatives and the imagination of the strangers.